Recent Posts

Phytochrome-Interacting Factors and Tomato Qualities

Phytochromes (PHYs) are red/far-red light photoreceptors that are activated by light and deactivated by dark and high temperature. Upon light exposure, PHYs are translocated into the nucleus, where they interact with PHY-INTERACTING FACTORS (PIFs) and induce the degradation of these transcription factors.…

Insights into Esca Grape Vine Disease

Esca is a fungal vascular disease of grapevine (Vitis vinifera) that negatively impacts grape yield and the wine industry. Esca is characterized by three main symptoms: leaf scorch, trunk necrosis, and a colored stripe along the vasculature. The fungi most strongly associated with esca wood necrosis…

Circadian Clock Gene Affects Aphid Feeding

Phloem sap-feeding aphids inflict plant damage by direct feeding and by acting as a vector for plant disease transmission. Their highly specialized stylets reach the phloem sieve elements, allowing aphids to extract plant photoassimilates without consuming structural tissues. Probing and feeding by aphids…

Improving Grain Filling Rate in Rice

Poor grain filling by hybrid japonica rice (Oryza sativa) is a major agricultural problem. It has previously been reported that the rice accession Ludao, a wild-type japonica rice grown naturally in the Liangyungang region of China, exhibited a high grain-filling rate and could be selected as a parent…

CO2 and O2 as Drivers of Plant Macroevolution

The evolution of photosynthesis and, at a later point, the emergence of land plants resulted in substantial changes in the composition of Earth’s atmosphere.  Plant colonization of the land in the early Paleozoic (more than 450 million years ago [mya]) was followed by a rapid drop in atmospheric [CO2],…

A Gene Affecting Chloroplast Size

During leaf growth and development, chloroplast numbers increase to maximize photosynthetic capacity. In mesophyll cells, chloroplast division takes place primarily during cell expansion and increases plastid numbers from; 10 to 20 in leaf primordia to; 100 or more in  mature mesophyll cells. Chloroplasts…

Regulation of Pavement Cell Morphogenesis

Simple plant cell morphologies, such as cylindrical shoot cells, are determined by the extensibility pattern of the primary cell wall, which is thought to be largely dominated by cellulose microfibrils, but the mechanism leading to more complex shapes, such as the brick-shaped or jigsaw-like patterns…

How Carrots Get Their Colors

Carrot (Daucus carota ssp. sativus) are classified into two groups: the carotene group (variety sativus) and the anthocyanin group (variety atrorubens). Carotene group members, also known as nonpurple carrots, accumulate massive amounts of carotenoids in their roots. Anthocyanin group members, also known…

A Circadian Clock Protein Regulates Fitness under Water Limitation

The circadian clock of plants coordinates many molecular, physiological and metabolic processes to optimize the plant's health and survival in an ever-changing environment. The core circadian clock component TIMING OF CAB EXPRESSION1 (TOC1) integrates environmental stress responses in plants through…